Independent review of the agvet chemical regulatory framework

Terms of Reference

On 5 September 2019, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture, appointed an independent panel of experts in regulation, agricultural production, veterinary medicines and human health to comprehensively review the regulatory framework for agvet chemicals.

The review will examine the agvet chemical regulatory framework’s aims, structure and operation, and make recommendations to ensure that it is contemporary, fit for purpose and reduces unnecessary red tape.

In undertaking the review, the panel will:

  1. assess the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory framework underpinning the operations of the National Registration Scheme
  2. consider what the goals of Australian agvet chemical regulation should be
  3. consider the current and future requirements of Australia’s regulatory framework for agvet chemicals
  4. provide recommendations for reform of the regulatory framework to increase the value of Australian agriculture.

The panel will have regard to regulatory roles and responsibilities at the national, state and territory level; interactions with other regulatory schemes and arrangements; any relevant domestic or international issues; any recent changes to the current framework, including reforms agreed by the Council of Australian Governments; and the government’s agenda to reduce red tape wherever possible.

The process will also review the Intergovernmental Agreement (2013) underpinning the National Registration Scheme, which was due for review in 2018.

The panel will:

  • consult widely with stakeholders throughout the review process
  • consider findings and recommendations from other relevant reviews
  • provide regular progress reports to the Minister for Agriculture.

The panel will deliver its final report to the Minister for Agriculture no later than February 2021.

The Department of Agriculture will provide secretariat services.

Consultation

The panel will work with a formal consultative group representing chemical companies, farming industry groups and non-government organisations.

The panel will also invite members of the public to make submissions.

The Panel

CHAIR: Mr Ken Matthews AO

Mr Ken Matthews is the former chair and chief executive officer of the Australian National Water Commission, where he worked with Australian, state and territory governments to implement the National Water Inter-Governmental Agreement and encourage national water reform.

Mr Matthews was previously the secretary of the Australian Government Department of Transport and Regional Services, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and headed the Australian Government’s high level Wik taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet that provided advice to the Prime Minister on native title.

Mr Matthews serves on a number of boards (both public and private sectors) and is a consultant in the areas of public administration, water management, agriculture, transport, natural resource management and government policy. He has a background in science policy and inter-governmental relations as well as experience in governance, organisational leadership and board processes.

Dr Mary Corbett FAICD

Dr Mary Corbett has over 25 years’ experience as a company director, spanning a diverse range of industries from cotton growing to public health, with a strong focus on research & development and corporate governance.

Mary is deputy chair of Horticulture Innovation and a board member of DairyBio and Dairy Feedbase, joint ventures of Dairy Australia, the Victorian Government and the Gardiner Foundation. She has recently completed tenures as chair of the Cotton Research & Development Corporation the West Moreton Hospital and Health Services. She was previously deputy chair of Southbank Institute of Technology and the Australian Agriculture College Corporation, and a member of the Wound Management Innovation CRC, Food Science Australia, and Sugar Research and Development Corporation boards.

Mary has significant experience on a variety of board committees, selection panels and other expert panels including chairing the Rural Research and Development for Profit Expert Assessment Panel – Round Three (2016-2017) and as a member of the judging panel for the 2015 Rural Research and Development Corporations Eureka Prize for Rural Innovation.

Mary is managing director of Australian Business Class, which specialises in providing board and senior executive facilitation and training.  Mary’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, developing emotional intelligence and building personal and organisational resilience. She has a BSc Applied Biology (Hons Biochemistry) and a PhD in Clinical Physiology, and is adjunct professor with the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine (2016- 2021).

Dr Craig Suann

Dr Craig Suann been a veterinarian for 40 years, with particular expertise in horse health and welfare. He was the chief regulatory veterinarian for the NSW thoroughbred racing industry for 33 years, most recently as the Senior Official Veterinarian at Racing NSW and previously for the Australian Jockey Club. He has served as executive officer of the Racing NSW Animal Care and Ethics Committee, and as chairman of Racing Australia’s Veterinary and Analysts Committee.

Over his career, Dr Suann has assisted with drafting new Australian Rules of Racing relating to drug control policy and equine health and welfare matters, including those dealing with legal chemical thresholds and screening limits. Craig played a key role in the NSW racing industry’s response to the outbreak of equine influenza, coordinating its emergency vaccination program and overseeing the gradual return to racing after the movement stand down imposed at the onset of the outbreak.

He is a member of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) Advisory Council on Equine Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Practices, and the IFHA Welfare Committee, and has represented Racing NSW and Racing Australia at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians over many years.

Dr Anne Astin PSM, MAICD, MAIFST

Dr Anne Astin is the president and council chair of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology and chair of SafeFish. Dr Astin was the inaugural chief executive officer of Dairy Food Safety Victoria and she has held senior executive positions in the Victorian public sector for 30 years, working in food policy and regulation, public health, agriculture, minerals and petroleum, natural resources and environment, land administration, and forensic science. 

Dr Astin is also a member of the Australian Government’s Health Star Rating Advisory Committee and chair of the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council’s Code of Practice Complaints Committee. In 2013, Anne served on the panel of the New Zealand Government’s Inquiry into the Whey Protein Contamination Incident. She is the immediate past chair of the Australian and New Zealand Implementation sub-committee for Food Regulation. She is also chair of Wellsprings for Women Inc., a not-for-profit organisation that delivers integration and training programs to isolated women. She is a non-executive director of Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd and William Angliss Institute of TAFE and a member of EnergySafe Victoria’s Audit and Risk Committee. She has previously held directorships at Dairy Australia, the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens and until April 2011, was chair of the Victorian Minister’s Women in Primary Industries Advisory Panel.

Dr Astin received a Public Service Medal for services to the dairy industry, national food regulation and rural women in 2011. In 2010, she was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll for her work in biochemistry and as an advocate of women’s leadership, receiving the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s Outstanding Service Award in recognition of leadership to the Australian dairy industry in the same year. Dr Astin has a B.Sc in Chemistry, a B.Sc (Hons) in Biochemistry and a Ph.D (Biochemistry). She has a Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.